Trend-setting new solutions and forms were also used for the construction of the technically highly demanding monumental ritual bath (mikvah) in Speyer in approximately 1120.
Tradition dictates that only water from a natural source may be used for the ritual bath. The monumental ritual baths in Speyer and later in Worms (1185-86) met this requirement by drawing groundwater. In Speyer the master builders were faced with the major technical challenge of having to lay out a virtually square shaft, almost four metres wide, more than nine metres underground to feed the water basin.
Surviving bath tiles indicate that a hot bath was built above the ritual bath in the second half of the 14th century. Documentary evidence suggests that a bath-house, a bakehouse and the hospital were already in existence before 1349.
The courtyard next to the synagogue served as a place for consultations and decisions about the community's affairs. Today, an essentially Baroque residential building, which has housed the SchPIRA Museum since 2010, stands on this spot. The museum relates the history of Speyer's Jewish population, and exhibits gravestones, other remnants and the Lingenfeld Treasure (ca. 1340–1349).
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Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:Europe
Subcategory Detail:Germany
Keywords:Bath, Deutschland, Duitsland, Germany, Judenhof, Rheinland-Pfalz, SchPira, ShUM sites of Speyer Worms and Mainz, Speyer, Spier, Tentative, Unesco, bath-house, mikva